United States District Court, E.D. California
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS
JUAN ALZATE DENTAL CORPORATION'S AND JUAN ALZATE,
D.D.S.'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT; AND MOTION
LAWRENCE J. O'NEILL UNITED STATES CHIEF DISTRICT JUDGE.
Shanell Walker (“Plaintiff”) brings this
employment discrimination case under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.
(“Title VII”), and California's Fair
Employment and Housing Act, Cal. Gov. Code §§
12940(a), 12965(d)(1). ECF No. 13. Plaintiff alleges that in
2014, she was hired by Defendant Juan Alzate, DDS
(“Alzate”), to work for Defendant Juan Alzate
Dental Corporation (“JADC”). Id.
Plaintiff further alleges that, starting in 2014 and
proceeding through 2015, she was subjected to various
unlawful employment practices, including, among other things,
sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about the
same. See generally id.
3, 2019, JADC and Alzate moved for summary judgment on the
Title VII claim, arguing, among other things, that Title
VII's threshold requirement that a defendant
“employer” have a certain minimum number of
employees is not triggered in this case. See ECF
Nos. 43 & 44. After requesting an extension of time, ECF
No. 45, Plaintiff filed an opposition. ECF No. 49. Defendant
replied. ECF Nos. 50 & 51. The Court took the matter
under submission on the papers pursuant to Local Rule 230(g).
ECF No. 48. Having considered the moving papers, opposition,
and reply, the Court finds summary judgment is appropriate as
to the Title VII claim and declines to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over the remaining FEHA claim.
VII prohibits certain “unlawful employment
practice[s]” by “employers, ” including
discriminating against individuals in hiring, firing,
compensation, and other aspects of employment. See
42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2. Title VII defines the term
“employer” to mean “a person engaged in an
industry affecting commerce who has fifteen or more employees
for each working day in each of twenty or more calendar weeks
in the current or preceding calendar year, and any agent of
such a person.” 42 U.S.C § 2000e. Plaintiff bears
the burden of demonstrating by a preponderance of the
evidence that the employer meets the 15-employee threshold.
Arbaugh v. Y & H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 516
Complaint in this case focuses on events that took place
entirely within 2014 and 2015. ECF No. 13. Here, Defendant
JADC has submitted evidence demonstrating that JADC had fewer
than fifteen employees throughout 2013, 2014, and at least
the first three quarters of 2015. ECF No. 44-2. Even if JADC
had more than fifteen employees during the final quarter of
2015, a single quarter spans three months, or twelve weeks,
well below the twenty-week threshold set forth in Title VII.
Plaintiff's eighteen-page opposition brief does not even
attempt to address this threshold issue. See ECF No. 49.
Accordingly, the Court finds that JADC is entitled to summary
judgment on Plaintiffs' Title VII claim.
is no independent basis for maintaining Alzate as an
individual defendant in the Title VII claim, because Title
VII does not provide a separate cause of action against
supervisors or co-workers. Craig v. M & O Agencies,
Inc., 496 F.3d 1047, 1058 (9th Cir. 2007). While there
is some authority that might support maintaining a Title VII
cause of action against a corporate owner who acted in a
manner that would justify piercing the corporate veil, a
valid claim against the corporate “employer” is a
pre-requisite to any such claim. See Sullivan v.
Cash, No. CV 05- 469-TUC-RCC, 2009 WL 10708232, at *1
(D. Ariz. May 6, 2009). As no Title VII claim can be
maintained against JADC, no “alter ego” Title VII
claim is available as against Alzate. Accordingly, Alzate is
also entitled to summary judgment as to the Title VII claim.
the remaining FEHA claim, where all federal claims are
dismissed in an action containing both federal and state law
claims, a federal court may decline to exercise supplemental
jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims. 28 U.S.C.
§ 1367(c)(3); Notrica v. Bd. of Sup'rs of County
of San Diego, 925 F.2d 1211, 1213-14 (9th Cir. 1991).
The Court is not required to provide an explanation for its
decision. Ove v. Gwinn, 264 F.3d 817, 826 (9th Cir.
2001). Accordingly, this Court declines to exercise
supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claim.
reasons set forth above:
Defendants motion for partial summary judgment is GRANTED as
to the Title VII claim;
Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the
remaining FEHA claim, which is therefore DISMISSED without
Clerk of Court shall enter judgment in accordance with this